Why Pay More for a Variable Speed?
Seems like all HVAC manufacturers and contractors are trying to up-sell more expensive systems that cost thousands of dollars more than the ‘basic builders model’? Is the added cost for this warranted? The simplest and most expedient answer is ‘maybe yes, maybe no’.
Seems like all HVAC manufacturers and contractors are trying to up-sell more expensive systems that cost thousands of dollars more than the ‘basic builders model’? Is the added cost for this warranted? The simplest and most expedient answer is ‘maybe yes, maybe no’. These types of systems, if matched with a well-designed and insulated distribution system (i.e. supply and return ducts), can greatly lower your utility bills and significantly improve the comfort in your home.
First – Energy Savings
Variable speed air handlers and two stage heating/cooling units (be it gas furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner) modulate such that the amount of heating or cooling sent into the home exactly matches the requirements needed. This saves energy and also distributes air flow more appropriately. It also reduces cycling of the unit (number of times it is turned on and off) which reduces repair cost and extends unit life. We traditionally size a heating system to meet the maximum requirements of a home. Since we live in a climate with mostly moderate temperatures, a majority of the year a single stage/speed system will be over-sized. This is where a two stage or variable speed system comes into play. Many times we hear contractors telling folks a 2 ton or smaller system provides no benefits in a variable speed option. This is strange because if that was true . . . manufacturers wouldn’t make the darn thing! It doesn’t have anything to do with the size of your house but truely how you live in it . . what temp you prefer, what time of day you run it, etc.
Second – Comfort
These units also hold temperature to a much smaller variation so you do not feel it get overly hot or cold when amounts of air come out full blast in cycles (on and off). Similarly the pockets of hot and cold around your home are dramatically reduced as air flow is happening in more frequent, smaller doses. Longer air flow cycles improve air filtration and cleanliness reducing allergens and other indoor pollutants.
As always, research your options and see if a variable speed system fits your lifestyle and budget. Give us a call for a free in home estimate.
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